- Get up for early church (Unless you are Eric and you're just not right in the head)
- Shovel snow
- Fast (OK come on, really? You like fasting?)
- Wake up from a deep sleep to the sound of Eric's dad calling for help.
Only one of these is something I did today...the least pleasant on the list I'm sorry to say. Before you panic, the good news is that he is stable and resting.
Eric's dad starting feeling unwell at about 4:30 am. At about 5 he was able to shuffle over to the living room and call up the stairs for help (we got him a cell phone for Christmas but he didn't think to use it or forgot about it, but a tutorial on emergency procedure is going to happen after he gets home - that or an intercom is going in!), he recognized the signs of a heart attack - nausea, sweating, severe pain in the middle of his chest - and he took an aspirin right away. The EMTS were here within 10 minutes.
At the hospital they took him in for surgery pretty quickly. The front artery is completely blocked and the rear descending artery is 75% blocked. The supporting arteries have partial blockage and the main vein in his left leg was blocked. They wanted to open up the front artery but were not able to because it was so hardened with calcium. They were able to open up the vein in his leg to help out. The right front muscle in his heart might be dead, due to lack of blood flow for a long time. They think it may have been blocked for a long time. They are going to give him a couple of days to rest in the hospital and then they will do a heart viability test. If the muscle is still viable in the front, they will do bypass surgery. If it is no longer viable they will only be able to treat him with medication and that leaves him very vunerable to future heart attacks.
Needless to say, we're kinda feeling helpless and worried right now. It was most scary this morning, of course, and we feel confident that he is in good hands at the hospital. You can help by hugging each other and thinking good thoughts.
I am sure you all remember my post a while back about making dinner for Poppa. (You're avid readers, you read every. single. post. twice., so I'm confident you know what I'm talking about.) Well, my sister suggested that I look at cooking for Dad as a service opportunity. That mode of thinking has completely changed how I feel about the whole situation. He still doesn't eat much of what I make so I try to make noodles or something I know he will like with every meal. If I didn't make something he'll eat, I offer to make him soup or chicken pot pie or the like. I still get rejected, I still feel bad sometimes, but I don't get upset anymore. I offer him my service and if he takes it, score 1 for the day. While Eric and Scott (his brother) were at the hospital waiting for updates and the children were upstairs asleep, I was looking around the house thinking how grateful I am that Dad is here with us. Sometimes it is a trial, sometimes I complain, sometimes he complains, but there are the little things that make it ultimately joyful. For example, sitting on the kitchen island is a package of sunflower seeds. Just the other day Poppa talked Eric into a trip to 7-11 to stock up on goodies for the weekend. Poppa brought me back a package of salty, sunflower goodness. Because he likes me. Just not my cooking.
Maybe it takes big things like heart attacks to shock us into awareness sometimes, but I hope that in the future I'll notice more little things. I hope I'll be fortified with goodness for the trials. And I hope you will too.